Onetime teen prodigy arrested in slaying of popular wine steward
Seattle police have made an arrest in the Aug. 31 road-rage killing of Yancy Noll.
Seattle Times staff reporter
From the start, Seattle police theorized Yancy Noll's death behind the wheel of his car late last month stemmed from a road-rage incident.
Noll, 43, a wine steward at the QFC store on Broadway in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, was well-liked and had no known enemies, according to his friends and family.
He was sitting in his car at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 75th Street at 7:26 p.m. Aug. 31 when a silver BMW Z4 convertible pulled up next to him and the driver fired several shots, according to police. Noll died later at Harborview Medical Center.
Witnesses described the gunman as a well-dressed white or Asian male in his late 20s to 30s, with dark, slicked-back hair. Police said the BMW might have recent body damage, including a broken-out passenger-side window.
On Friday, police arrested a 29-year-old Seattle man in connection with the fatal shooting. A source with knowledge of the investigation said the arrest was due, in part, to tips from the public. Police were told the suspect owned firearms, drove a Z4, lived less than a mile from the shooting scene and had "anger-management problems," the source said.
The source identified the suspect as Dinh Bowman. His name was confirmed by King County Jail booking records.
SWAT and homicide detectives served a warrant at a home in the 7400 block of 25th Avenue Northeast early Friday and seized a silver BMW Z4 from the garage, the source said.
The source said Bowman's BMW had no obvious signs of damage to the exterior, but when investigators looked inside they found glass around the passenger seat. The passenger window appeared to be new, the source said.
All four tires on the Z4 had been changed, and the front end of the vehicle smelled like fresh paint, the source said.
Bowman was booked into the King County Jail for investigation of homicide. He is expected to make his first appearance in the jail's courtroom on Saturday. He's being held without bail.
In 2006, Bowman was acquitted of burglary and first-degree theft after he was accused of stealing ski equipment from a downtown Seattle store, according to court records.
Attorney John Henry Browne, who represented Bowman in the 2006 case, said his office staff spoke with Bowman and his family on Friday. Browne said he plans to meet with Bowman before deciding whether to take the case.
Bowman is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in electrical engineering, according to his mother, Hong Bowman.
He worked for a San Francisco-based firm at an office in the Sodo neighborhood. She said her son lives with his wife at the home on 25th Avenue Northeast.
"We just talked to him the other day, and I don't think he would do anything like that," said Hong Bowman, who confirmed her son drives a small BMW. "He's very smart."
Dinh Bowman was featured in a May 1996 Seattle Times story when at age 13 he was nationally ranked in fencing and taking computer-science courses at Seattle Pacific University, maintaining a B average. At the time, Bowman's father was a Boeing engineer. His mother is a refugee from Vietnam who fled Saigon in 1975, according to the story.
Mike Noll, cousin of the slain man, said he was notified of the arrest Friday by Seattle police.
"I'm thanking Seattle for their help. All the citizens tips, all the media coverage, it all worked. The family is doing great," Mike Noll said from his home in Ohio.
Seattle police Deputy Chief Nick Metz said he's "proud of our officers and detectives for following up on every lead" in the Noll case.
"The community stepped up. People in this city are getting fed up with the violence going on," Metz said.
Noll's slaying was the 23rd in Seattle this year, two more than in all of 2011.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @SeattleSullivan.
Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed
to this report.